About this Recipe
The fermented condiment miso, made with the beneficial bacteria Aspergillus oryzae, can help support your microbiome, promoting healthy flora and aiding in digestion. This vegetables in this soup are sources of a wide variety of nutrients and fiber. Konnyaku (yam cake) is mild-flavored and high in fiber.
Note: You will need to prepare Kombu & Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, or purchased dashi; or use the stock of your choice, available at select grocery stores, Asian markets, and online.
Equipment: Medium-size donabe (clay pot) or heavy-bottomed pot
- 1 medium Japanese eggplant
- 1 rectangular abura-age (fried tofu pouch)
- 3 oz konnyaku (Japanese yam cake), torn into bite-size pieces by hand
- 1 Tbsp ( 15 ml) sesame oil
- 2 medium rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms (from making Kombu & Shiitake Mushroom Dashi), cut into thin slices (optional)
- 3 oz (85 g) daikon, peeled and cut into 1/8-in (3-mm) thick disks and halved
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) sake
- 3 1/3 cups (800 ml) Kombu & Shiitake Dashi or your choice of stock
- 1/4 medium kabocha, skin thinly peeled off, and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 medium carrot, cut into 1/8-in (3-mm) thick disks
- 1/4 cup (73 g) red miso
- 1 or 2 tsp usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce)
- Thinly sliced scallions or chopped chives for garnish
- Shichimi togarashi to taste
Step 1To prepare the eggplant, poke several holes with the tip of a knife on each eggplant. Set a grill on a stove top and grill them over medium-high heat. Rotate a few times so the eggplants cook evenly. Once they are partially charred and soft (it will take about 5 minutes), remove from the grill, cut off the hull of the stem and gently peel the skin. Cut each eggplant into bite-size pieces. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture. Set aside.
Step 2Place the abura-age on the same grill net and lightly grill both sides just until fragrant and lightly colored, about 1 minute. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
Step 3To prepare the soup, add the konnyaku to the donabe and set over medium heat. Sauté for a few minutes to release excess moisture (this will enhance the flavor and texture of the konnyaku).
Step 4Add the sesame oil, followed by the abura-age, shiitake mushrooms, and daikon. Continue to sauté for a minute or so.
Step 5Deglaze with the sake and pour in the dashi. Increase the heat to medium-high. As soon as the broth starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes.
Step 6Add the kabocha and carrot, and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
Step 7Add the eggplant and stir. Gently whisk in the miso. Adjust the flavor with the usukuchi shoyu, if necessary. Turn off the heat. Let rest for a few minutes.
Step 8Serve into individual bowls and sprinkle with scallions and shichimi togarashi, if you like.
Substitutions: Use any vegetables you have on hand in place of the eggplant, kabocha, daikon, and carrot
Zero Waste: The cooked skin of the kabocha is edible — and high in betacarotene and vitamins A and C